“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 1:3-4
It has crept and slithered through America infecting countless victims. Its goals are compromise, ambiguity, tolerance, globalism, mysticism, and in some cases, universalism. Its path is destruction and its foundation is sinking sand.
The ‘Emergent Church’ is a movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries. Followers, participants, and those who identify can be described as evangelical, post-evangelical, liberal or post-liberal, reformed, neo-charismatic, and post-charismatic. It is part of the Cult of Liberalism.
They seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a “Postmodern” society. It is an untraditional network of individual believers and churches that prefer to be understood as a “conversation” or a friendship rather than an organization. What those involved mostly agree on is their disdain for fundamental Christianity and disillusionment with the organized, traditional, and institutional church.
The emergent, or emegring church favors the use of simple story and narrative in preaching style. Adherents often place a high value on good works or social activism. The hallmark of the emergent church is the liberal, new age aspect including the practice of contemplative monastic meditation and prayers. While some do emphasize eternal salvation, many in the emerging church emphasize the here and now (taking care of the earth, etc.) and reject the inerrancy of Scripture.
Regarding doctrine, these folks generally reject systematic Christian theology, the integrity of Scripture, and gospel exclusivity. They don’t believe Christianity is the one true religion and many associated with the emergent church promote homosexuality. Some deny the deity of Jesus Christ; they call for diversity, “unity,” and camaraderie among all religions, and they modify and expand their teachings. It is quite clearly and simply a war against the Truth.
At an emergent church workshop in San Diego about ten years ago, former national coordinator of the Emergent Village, Tony Jones stated:
“This is about our belief that theology changes. The message of the gospel changes. It’s not just the method that changes.”
What? I submit to you that Jesus never changed his message to fit the times! Sadly, too many believers are uninterested, uninformed, or just plain apathetic about the Bible and understanding the times we live in where relevance is emphasized more than repentance.
In a revealing comment about why Jones departed from the traditional Bible church, he described his younger days in a Protestant church like this:
“I’d say there was one word that summed up my religious life: obligation.”
Rather than seek Christ’s kingdom first and dig into Scripture, Jones decided to travel the world and see how other religions and worshippers found peace through prayer and meditation and he adopted other forms of spirituality in his pursuit of religion.
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1
Jones is not alone. These influential men are best-selling authors in Christian stores, speakers at entertaining music festivals, popular on the political Christian Left, and well-known leaders in religious circles. They and their dangerous doctrines have invaded the true body of Christ. The goal in this expose is to provide a basic understanding as well as direct quotes from those who have done great damage to the Church, not to explain or refute each one in detail.
Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not a matter of knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is the difference between right and almost right.”
How did we get to the point where many of these liberal, emergent ideas and teachings have blended in with truth and sound doctrine? How have they slithered their way into modern Christianity? The answer goes back to the book of Genesis and the original sin of Adam and Eve. Remember how the serpent deceived Eve by questioning God? (“Did God really say…”) He then encouraged them to disobey God as he declared, “You will not surely die…” (Genesis 3:1-4)
All it takes is a seed of doubt and invitation to sin. Many progressive leaders and deceivers question absolute truth and promote ambiguity and confusion. No wonder these men are so popular – they’re going with the flow of pop culture. Paul warned about conforming to this world (Romans 12:2).
False teachers have been around since the early church days. The major issue with the emergent church is that they reject the authority of Scripture. These teachings were not accepted by evangelical Christians overnight. We can trace the rapid advancement of the emergent church to the late 80’s and 90’s, when people began talking about how to modernize and re-create church to be more attractive to the unchurched.
…Many churches in America now have beautiful buildings, sports facilities, coffee shops, bookstores, great music and sound systems, state of the art lighting, and good drama or video presentations, but how much of their service time is spent preaching the solid truth of Scripture? Many seem to put more of an emphasis on programs keeping people within their own walls or on entertaining the flock rather than feeding them God’s Word. Well, at least the youth are kept happy and occupied.
Young people like to take action for a cause, and many works-based efforts call for organizing, social or environmental action and partnership with government agencies and other religions/leaders. This is a clever way to lure those who are not as mature in the faith.
Another controversial message being promoted is that of social justice, which in its modern use is apostasy. Apostasy means a departure from the faith or one who denies the fundamental doctrines concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. (Wallis’ Sojourners mag for example, puts more emphasis on the environment, immigration, “income inequality,” and poverty than on the Gospel, salvation, repentance, and sin.) The Bible does not teach that the church must work with government or world leaders to implement man’s solutions to our deepest needs and problems. We can no longer deny the fact that humanism, liberalism and secular-progressive influence is alive and well -not only in government, education, media, corporations, and the entertainment industry – but in the Church…
Since not enough Christians know the dangers and the extent of the emergent church movement and their radical teachings, we need to promote awareness starting with what is true. We need to dig deeper in to the Word of God than ever before and know it so well that if we hear a counterfeit message, we’ll recognize it immediately! We need to talk to our pastors and Christian friends. Liberalism, humanism, and secularism are growing cancers in both church and culture so let’s not ignore the causes.
Let’s get out of our comfort zones and take a stand for Christ. The spiritual battle rages all around us and the enemy is on our doorstep. Satan has been at work at a church near you spreading his deceptions. The good news is that we are on to his schemes. Mature believers know that the emergent church teachings are contrary to the gospel of Christ.